Predictive Factors for Seizures and Efficacy of Antiepileptic Drugs in Patients with Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

  • Ronnie E. Baticulon
  • Kevin Ivan P. Chan
  • Peter Paul P. Rivera
  • Gerardo D. Legaspi
  • Willy G. Lopez
Keywords: seizure, aneurysm, subarachnoid hemorrhage, craniotomy, phenytoin, levetiracetam, antiepileptic drugs


Objectives. To identify factors that predict the occurrence of seizures in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and to evaluate the efficacy of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in preventing in-hospital seizures among patients who undergo clip occlusion of ruptured intracranial aneurysms.
Methods. In this retrospective study, the medical charts of 205 patients admitted for aneurysmal SAH in Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and who underwent craniotomy and clipping of aneurysm from January 2011 to June 2014 were reviewed. Demographic, radiologic, and clinical factors were converted into categorical variables and their association with the occurrence of seizures analyzed. The incidence of seizures among patients who received an AED (AED cohort) and those who did not receive an AED (No AED cohort) were compared. Secondarily, the effects of seizures and AED use on early postoperative outcomes were determined using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) on the day of discharge.
Results. Among 205 patients with aneurysmal SAH, 31 (15.1%) developed seizures. 21 (10.2%) had seizures at onset of SAH and only seven (3.4%) had in-hospital seizures. Aneurysm re-rupture (OR 5.26, p-value 0.045) and the presence of a parenchymal clot (OR 2.90, p-value 0.043) were independent predictors for seizure occurrence. There was no significant difference in the incidence of seizures in the AED cohort and in the No AED cohort (4/100, 4% vs. 3/99, 3%, p-value 0.714). AED use was associated with a higher proportion of patients with a discharge GOS score of 3 or less (28.0% vs 12.1%, p-value 0.005).
Conclusion. The results of the study do not support the routine use of AEDs in patients with aneurysmal SAH.